3 Easy Tips for Show-Stopping Grilled Salmon

People are afraid to cook fish; it makes a stink when you cook it inside, but can disintegrate into flakes on the grill. I'm here to tell you there's a delicious, no-mess way to cook fish on the grill. Let me spill my secrets...

Secret 1: Do NOT marinate your salmon. You may think it’s the best way to add flavor, but it actually breaks down the fish’s proteins and makes it more likely to flake, fall apart and stick when you’re grilling it. Once the salmon is cooked through, add our delicious sauce (recipe below) 10-15 minutes before serving so it has a chance to soak up all the flavor.

Secret 2: Put aluminum foil down on your grill. If any fish sticks, you aren’t stuck with it forever. But because foil is a conductor, you’ll still get those hot grill marks.

Secret 3: Grill it skin side up first. Fish breaks down as it cooks, too, so grilling it flesh side down allows it to naturally caramelize and release on its own—so it’s intact when you flip it (if it’s still sticking when you try to flip, let it cook on that side a little longer).

Show-Stopping Salmon

Show-Stopping Salmon with Escabeche Sauce

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Inactive time: 10 minutes


  • 4 6-oz salmon filets, ask for center cut, or buy pieces that are evenly sized
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the Escabeche Sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ small red onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ c parsley leaves


  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Once the grill is hot, place a sheet of aluminum foil onto the area you plan to use.
  • Brush the salmon with olive oil, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the salmon skin side up on the foil. Cook the salmon until cooked ¾ through, about 6-7 minutes. Gently, using a spatula and tongs, flip the pieces over. If the salmon sticks at all, give it another 30 seconds to a minute and then try again. When the salmon is ready to flip, it will release on its own. Cook the salmon, skin side down, for two minutes longer. Remove the salmon pieces to a rimmed serving dish.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the red onion and parsley and pour over the salmon pieces. Allow to marinate for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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